It is estimated that 1 in 10 men will struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED) at some point during their lives. ED affects about 10% of men per decade of life. For example, 40% of men around age 40 will experience some form of erectile dysfunction; by age 70, that number goes up to around 70% of men. This is a BIG deal about a small thing!
This small problem could be a sign of something much bigger!
Erectile dysfunction can be a warning sign of current or future heart problems. Likewise, if you have heart disease, getting the to the root cause may help with erectile dysfunction.
The link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease has to do with the fact that they are both often result from dysfunction of the endothelial tissue that lines the arteries throughout the body. The correlation between the two conditions is so strong that some doctors propose that a man with ED and no cardiovascular disease symptoms be assumed a cardiac or vascular patient until proven otherwise.
Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by other conditions including low testosterone, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, tobacco use, and alcoholism.
Nervous system dysfunction = a hard time.
Proper nervous system function = a hard time.
While erectile dysfunction is often seen as a vascular problem caused by the problems with the tissues lining the arteries “down under,” we know what ultimately controls every cell, tissue, and organ in the body—the nervous system. Therefore, whether it is expressed as erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, or any other condition, the root cause of most health concerns is nervous system dysfunction that causes a failure to adapt in tissues throughout the body.
In general, failure of the nervous system to adapt to stress is often the result of being in a chronic sympathetic state, also known as “fight or flight.” This is a vital part of the nervous system that should only be active about 10% of the time; particularly when there is a direct threat nearby. Instead, most people spend about 90% of their day in a sympathetic state! This is in contrast to another part of the nervous system known as the parasympathetics, the “rest, digest, and heal,” part of the nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system also controls organs of reproduction; therefore, when the body is in a sympathetic state for long periods of time—as most people are today—it’s no wonder that so many people deal with issues such as erectile dysfunction; the body isn’t focused on reproducing if it thinks it is under constant threat! High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are also common chronic diseases that can cause erectile dysfunction, and are a result of chronic sympathetic nervous system over-stimulation.
Perk up, there’s hope! (No, the word play isn’t over yet.)
Through specific chiropractic adjustments, we are able to tap into the parasympathetic part of the nervous system, which allows your body to heal properly overall, and also be in a state where your reproductive system is functioning at it’s peak. These adjustments can also remove direct pressure on the nerves that go from the spinal cord to the genitals, which can also be a cause of erectile dysfunction, as well as other reproductive issues in both men and women.
In one study, a 53-year-old man began chiropractic care with a 20-year history of low back pain and erectile dysfunction. Within just a few weeks, he saw substantial improvement with both conditions! In this case, chiropractic spinal adjustments straightened out more than his spine.(Ok, that’s the last one.)
Because chiropractic aims to correct nervous system dysfunction, it is an excellent approach to care for those struggling with erectile dysfunction. It can not only decrease related physical issues, but can also improve psychological concerns that contribute to it, and can minimize symptoms altogether.